Don’t criticise government: Centre to SC

The Supreme Court. DH file photo

The Union government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court not to make adverse observations against it in all PIL matters, as the country with 1.3 billion population faced all sorts of problems and it was making sincere efforts to address the issues.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted before a three-judge bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur that he had read several observations against the government everyday in newspapers.

The court passed orders for cancellation of 122 licences in 2G spectrum and closed liquor shops within 500 metre of highways, resulting huge job losses, he said, adding at times, the court may not know several aspects.

“India has a population of around 1.3 billion which is increasing exponentially and there are several problems faced by the country. We are trying to solve some of these problems,” he said.

The bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, however, told him that the judges were also citizens and the court was not criticising the government for every problem in the country.

The court wanted the government to obey the laws and implement the schemes framed by it.

“At times, we have to seek response from the states as well,” Venugopal said. To this, the court said, “If the states did not comply to your directions, you can resort to Article 356 but this remedy is not available with us.”

“But all such orders (on Article 356 – proclamation of President rule) are quashed by the court,” Venugopal remarked.

The conversation between the top law officer and the bench took place during the hearing on jail reforms being heard 'Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons'.

Venugopal, however, agreed to the court's suggestion that a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge should be appointed to look into the issues pertaining to prisons and reforms, including children who are in prison only because their mother is in prison and other related matters.

The court also asked the Centre to issue a notification and provide all necessary facilities considering the importance of prison reforms in the country and importance of Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on August 17.

It also directed that training manuals to be circulated to the director general of prisons and secretaries of prison department in each state and also to the three training institutes— Institute of Corrections Administration, Chandigarh; Regional Institute of Correctional Administration, Kolkatta and Academy of Prison and Correctional Administration, Vellore.

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Don’t criticise government: Centre to SC

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